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How to Do the Hero Pose

The Hero Pose looks simple enough—and is a common position for seated meditation—but don't be fooled: The stretch it requires of your knees is, well, nothing short of heroic.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Rest butt on heels Sit back so your butt rests on your heels, then rise upright for a moment. If this feels comfortable you can proceed further; if not, stop and try the Thunderbolt Pose instead.
  • Step 2: Separate feet Lift back up off your heels and separate your feet wide enough for you to sit between them, and point your toes so the backs of your feet are flat against the mat.
  • Step 3: Lower yourself Slowly lower back down to the ground.
  • TIP: If you reach a point where your knees feel uncomfortable, stop there and place a folded blanket, cushion, or block under your butt.
  • Step 4: Place hands on knees Place your hands on your knees or thighs to help you expand your chest and sit upright.
  • Step 5: Rotate thighs inward Rotate your thighs inward to deepen the stretch.
  • Step 6: Hold pose Hold the pose for as many breaths as you are comfortable.
  • Step 7: Release pose Release the pose by raising your hips. Or lie flat on your stomach like you're flying to continue the hero theme.
  • TIP: If you held the pose for an extended period of time, follow it with a Downward Facing Dog Pose to help release your knees.
  • FACT: In Hinduism, a "hero" is the human incarnation of a Deity; the god Vishnu is said to have had 9 heroes so far, the ninth being Buddha.

You Will Need

  • Comfortable clothing suitable for stretching and moving
  • A calm place where you won't be distracted or disturbed
  • A yoga mat or folded blanket
  • A foam block or cushion

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